Omnibus Energy Legislation (H.R. 6): Side-by-side Comparison of Non-tax Provisions [August 13, 2003]   [open pdf - 715KB]

Continuing a legislative effort that began in the 107th Congress, the House and Senate in the first session of the 108th passed two distinct versions of an omnibus energy bill (H.R. 6), which would be the first comprehensive energy legislation in more than 10 years. Although Republicans are in the majority in both chambers, the conference on H.R. 6 will be complicated by deep divisions within the Senate on energy policy. Facing numerous amendments and limited floor time, the Senate set aside the energy bill it had been considering in the 108th Congress (S. 14) and passed the text of last year's Senate energy bill (H.R. 4). The House version of H.R. 6, which passed April 11, 2003, includes a key component of the Bush Administration's energy strategy: opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas exploration and development The Senate version, approved July 31, 2003, leaves ANWR off-limits to drilling. The electricity provisions of H.R. 6 would continue to change the regulatory requirements for the wholesale electric market. In general, with some differences, both the House and Senate versions would repeal the Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA) and give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and state utility commissions access to utility books and records. Both would also repeal the mandatory purchase requirement of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) when a competitive electric market exists. Automobile and light truck fuel efficiency was the subject of considerable debate in both houses. Several other controversial environmental provisions are contained only in the Senate-passed bill, particularly programs to address global climate change and renewable energy requirements for electricity providers.

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CRS Report for Congress, RL32033
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